Swamp Thing Reunite for WORT Benefit with Optometri

Recent News 27 Jun 2016
Photo by Joseph W Jackson, III.  Clockwise  top: Jonathan Zarov, Bob Appel, Mike Kashou, David Miller, and Steve Bear (seated).

Photo by Joseph W Jackson, III. Clockwise top: Jonathan Zarov, Bob Appel, Mike Kashou, David Miller, and Steve Bear (seated). Photo is circa 1985 and is housed in the Wisconsin Historical Socirty archives.

Swamp Thing Reunite for WORT Benefit with Optometri

89.9 FM WORT is looking to expand their digital archive in an effort to preserve some important history. They are holding a fundraiser on Thursday, June 30th to raise money for the cause. Friday morning’s 8 O’Clock Buzz show host Jonathan Zarov answered the call, managing to get his merry band of 80’s pranksters Swamp Thing to reunite for a special performance.

Swamp Thing started in 1982, playing Madison clubs during the city’s local music heyday before spending some time in New York. They recorded two albums, Learning to Disintegrate (1985) and A Cow Come True (1987).

You can read a nice write-up and interview on WORT’s website by clicking here.

The show, which takes place at the Crystal Corner Bar on Williamson, will feature the band playing Learning to Disintegrate in its entirety. Opening will be another  musical adventure that could only come from Madison, Optomeri. The Russian immigrants that comprise this band will amuse and astound with their insightful music. You can read a review of their 2009 album, Love is Not a Potato, here. Catch them quick, before Trump has them all deported.

Michael Dorf worked with Swamp Thing before founding the Knitting Factory in New York. Here is a quote on the group from his bio website:

“Returning to Madison, Swamp Thing based itself in the Midwest, playing gigs and weekend tours in local bars and clubs. I was getting work for the band by moonlighting as an agent, manager, and record-company executive. I had entered the University of Wisconsin Law School for a year, so my parents were covering my room and board. My bedroom was filled with law books and boxes of records. My first Macintosh computer contained more data on record stores than criminal records. I spent most evenings that year trying to collect the money we were owed for all the records we’d sent out for free and checking to see whether radio stations were even playing them. Swamp Thing would go out on the road and play shows for a week around the Great Lakes or on the East Coast, then return home owing people money, which I would usually pay off with a check. I was getting a bit antsy, so Flaming Pie Records released a compilation album of Madison bands called The Mad Scene. I organized two big concerts with the bands who would appear on the record in order to raise money for the manufacturing of 1,000 copies. The record did wonderfully in Wisconsin and generated lots of press, but sold approximately 87 albums around the world.”

Learning to Disintegrate is also being made available once again from CD Baby. Not only can you nab a slice of Madison history, all proceeds from the sale of the album will go to WORT.

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About the author

Rick Tvedt

Rick is publisher of Local Sounds Magazine, formerly Rick's Cafe, Wisconsin's Regional Music Newspaper. He is also the Executive Director for MAMA, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces the Madison Area Music Awards and raises funds to promote youth music programs.

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